TIPS AND NEWS

 

HISTORY OF SKI WEAR PART ONE - 22/10/2016

The Christmas tinsel and New Years glint has been packed away. Settling into winter’s longest stretch without the hazy mirth of the clinquant season can be disheartening. But consider this silver lining: Ski Season. A schuss down snowy slopes invigorates the spirit through bright air and long views. And for those of us less tickled by the steep side of a mountain, there is the draw of an activity that requires an entirely specialized wardrobe. It is dress defined by volume – quantity, quality, luxury and bulk. The fabrics are innovative (padding and stretch), the layers dense (rich knits, cashmeres and furs), color palettes unexpected (neons and prints), and the accessories novel (moonboots and goggles).

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What's the deal with PFD Types? - 08/10/2016

The new Australian Standard 4758 has classified PFDs by buoyancy levels, rather than type 1, 2 or 3. The following shows a comparison between buoyancy levels and type classifications.pfd-illustration
Under Standard AS 4758 Under previous Standards
Level 275 Level 150 Coastal Life Jacket
Level 275 Level 150 Level 100 PFD Type 1 (AS 1512-1996)
Level 50 PFD Type 2 (AS 1499-1996)
Level 50 special purpose PFD Type 3 (AS 2260-1996)

PFD Type 1 now Level 100 and above

These provide the highest level of buoyancy and are designed to keep the wearer's head above and out of the water when unconscious. They provide the greatest performance and are mainly used when boating in open waters and alpine waters. There are two kinds of type 1 - those with fixed, in built buoyancy and those which are inflated by manual activation, or when the lifejacket comes in contact with water.
  • Must have a high visibility colour
  • Buoyancy collar keeps head about water
  • Required to have retro reflective tape incorporated into the design of the jacket
  • Designed to ensure safe floating position, for example, with the body inclined back from the vertical, with nose and mouth clear of the water
  • For use in smooth, partially smooth and open waters
  • Not to be used by personal watercraft (PWC) riders, skiers or people being towed
  • Must be worn on all boats operating in unprotected waters
  • Bulky in nature. Self inflatable versions are less bulky but must be checked yearly.

PFD Type 2 now Level 50

These are buoyancy vests that are not designed to keep the wearer's head above and out of the water, but are made using high-visibility colours and in comfortable styles. They are mainly used when boating in more sheltered areas such as enclosed or inland waters.
  • Must have a high visibility colour
  • Does not have a collar
  • Designed for continuous wear during any aquatic activity
  • Keeps you afloat but does not have a collar to keep the head above water
  • Can be used by skiers or people being towed in smooth or partially smooth waters
  • Can be used by PWC riders in smooth and partially smooth waters or beyond those waters
PFD Type 3 now Level 50S These are buoyancy vests with the same overall buoyancy as a type 2 lifejacket, however they are not required to be made in high-visibility colours. This makes them popular for use in aquatic sports such as wakeboarding and waterskiing, where comfort and style are important.
  • Can have any colour or pattern
  • Does not have a collar
  • For use in smooth water and only where the user is likely to be in the water for a short time
  • May be a specified buoyancy wet suit
Can be used by PWC riders in smooth waters, used by board sailors, water skiers, wakeboarders, PWC operators, canoeists, etc.

LEVEL 100+ INFLATABLE LIFEJACKET

Similar to the former Type 1 category Level 100+ lifejackets provide higher levels of buoyancy. There are two options: inflatable or non-inflatable. Inflatable lifejackets rely on CO2 for buoyancy, which means they are lighter and less cumbersome to wear than the equivalent foam lifejackets. Once inflated, these lifejackets display high-visibility colours. Generally, adult inflatable lifejackets are rated at 150+ and are designed to help keep the wearer's head face-up and above the water even if unconscious. There are two kinds of Level 100+ inflatable lifejackets, those that are inflated by manual activation or those that inflate automatically when the lifejacket comes in contact with water. Level 100+ lifejackets are required in certain situations, for example when boating on open (ocean) waters. The inflatable types are becoming more popular because they are comfortable to wear, but boaters must be aware of the added maintenance and service requirements that come with this style of lifejacket, and the need for detailed crew and passenger briefing on their operation. See page 21 for more information on selecting the right Level 100+ lifejacket.

LEVEL 100+ NON-INFLATABLE LIFEJACKET

Similar to the former Type 1 category Level 100+ lifejackets are generally available as non-inflatable garments with in-built foam buoyancy, including neck support. These lifejackets must be high-visibility colour and are bulkier to wear than the inflatable equivalent. However, they do not require the additional operation and servicing of an inflatable lifejacket. See page 21 for more information on selecting the right Level 100+ lifejacket.
IMPORTANT NOTE Inflatable lifejackets must be serviced at least every 12 months or at longer intervals in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Note: For new inflatable lifejackets, this period starts from the date of purchase. It is recommended that non swimmers and children under 12 years of age do not wear an inflatable lifejacket. It is also strongly recommended that inflatable lifejackets not be worn on personal watercraft (PWC), as excess spray may accidentally inflate the lifejacket and startle the wearer.

LEVEL 50 LIFEJACKET

Similar to the former Type 2 category These are designed to support the wearer in the water, but without the neck support required to keep the wearer's head face-up and above the water if unconscious. They are made using high-visibility colours and in comfortable styles. They are mainly used when boating in more sheltered areas such as enclosed or inland waters.

LEVEL 50S LIFEJACKET

Similar to the former Type 3 category These are buoyancy vests with the same overall buoyancy as a Level 50 lifejacket, however they are not required to be made in high-visibility colours. This makes them popular for use in aquatic sports such as wakeboarding and waterskiing, where style is important and assistance is on hand.

SELECTING A 100+ LIFEJACKET

The lifejacket category 'Level 100+' covers a range of buoyancy and performance levels. When making your selection, consider the locations you will go boating, the conditions you are likely to encounter and the type and weight of clothing you will be wearing. Australian Standard 4758 provides the following guidance on selection and use:
  • Level 100 lifejackets are intended for people who may have to wait for rescue, but are likely to do so in sheltered and calm water. They are not intended for use in rough conditions, or when there is wave splash
  • Level 150 lifejackets are intended for general offshore and rough weather use where a high standard of performance is required. They are designed to turn an unconscious person in swimming attire into a safe position, and maintain a fully clothed person in a safe position with no subsequent action by the wearer
  • Level 275 lifejackets are intended primarily for offshore use and by people who are using items of significant weight or wearing clothing which may trap air and adversely affect the lifejacket's self-righting capacity. They are designed to ensure that the wearer floats with their mouth and nose clear of the surface.
More information: Roads and Maritime Boating Handbook.

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Accessories & Necessities for that big trip! - 30/06/2016

winter

That big trip is coming.That means it's time to start thinking about that week down at Perisher, fortnight in Queenstown, or early planning for that big month in Japan or North America for Christmas.

We've compiled a guide of necessary accessories (say that three times as quick as you can) that will make life easier while on the road. If you have any questions don't hesitate to call into the shop and speak to our well travelled staff.

Keeping warm

There is nothing worse than being under-dressed and ill prepared on the hill. To prevent this from happening items like thermals, proper socks and beanies can make a huge difference.

Thermals- Thermals can make or break a day on the hill. There are many different kinds on the market, but if you're like us and want to be warm and toasty, you can't go past merino. Our Icebreaker range is warm, breathable and soft against the skin. Don't like wool? We've got you covered. Try our other ranges of acrylic or polyester thermals. Whether you're going to Perisher or you're a cold frog heading to Hakuba, we'll have a thermal suitable for you.

ANTICORP Mawson, Balaclava, JuniorBalaclava/ Neck warmer- It doesn't matter if you're on Mt. Perisher and the wind is blowing 100km/hr or it's -30 degrees in Japan, a good balaclava or neck warmer is going to come in handy! When the wind is howling and temps are cold keep your face and neck covered up!

Glove liners- What's the biggest complaint on the mountain? Cold hands. Much like thermals, a good pair of liners will keep your hands dry and warm and give you a little more flexibility in varying temperatures.

Socks- Everyone has that one mate who wears his footy socks to the snow, and at the end of the day can clear a room instantly when he takes off his boots. Don't be that guy!! Grab yourself a few pairs of proper snow socks. We have a large range of ski and snowboard socks that breathe and wick moisture away, keeping your feet toasty and dry all day long.

Tech layers/apres wear-It's handy having a few extra layers to cruise around town or travel in. We stock a range of tech hoodies which repel water, keep you warm and are stylish. They can also be used as a layer underneath your snow jacket when temps plunge. For the ladies who don't want to sacrifice style for warmth, we have a range of long down apres jackets. These are perfect for those off-hill activities whether it's sight-seeing, shopping or the searching for the perfect post-ski cocktail.

XTM PUDDLES APRES BOOTS PINK, JNRApres Boots- Keep your feet warm and dry in a pair of apres boots. Specifically designed for cold and wet weather, these boots will prevent you from slipping in icy conditions thanks to their extra traction.

Boot heaters and heated socks- For the ultimate warmth and comfort for the cold frogs out there, come in and check out our boot heaters and new heated socks!!

Beanies/EarmuffsOne of the best parts of going to the snow is buying some beanies to mix and match with your outfits. You can never have just one!

Hand/ toe warmers- For those extremely cold days try a hand or toe warmer packet. They're simple to use and your extremities will thank you.

PROTECTION

POC Fovea GogglesEyewear- The only time you should need sunnies is when you're driving to and from the hill or sitting on the deck sinking a few beers, not tearing through the back bowls of Vail during a blizzard! Ask our well traveled staff about the large range of goggles and lens colors we have in stock for your particular destination. See our goggle buying guide here for more details.

Helmets- Keep your noggin safe and warm with a helmet. They're also requirement for all kids doing lessons. Like listening to Bob Marley as you cruise through the park? Or some heavy metal while dropping that 50 foot cliff? Check out our range of helmet compatible audio gear as well! See our helmet buying guide here for more details.

Protective Wear-There is nothing worse than cutting a holiday short due to a stack gone wrong. Prevent yourself from serious injury by using protective wear such as protection shorts, back braces and wrist guards.

Going away for a week or more, take some tuning gear and hardware with you.

  • Wax-comes in varying temperature grades, warmer wax, which is great for Australia and NZ, cold wax for places like Japan, Colorado and the Canadian Rockies, and mid temp waxes which suit nearly everywhere else.
  • Waxing Iron- use the right tool for the right job, a standard iron will damage your base, smoke out a room every time you turn it on and are bulky to pack. We stock both Toko and Vitoria wax irons which are lightweight and easy to use.
  • Scrapers- come in all shapes and sizes, its personal preference
  • Edgers- keep those edges sharp, after a week of skiing/riding your edges will begin to dull quickly, making it a lot harder to hold an edge while your ripping those gnarly euro carves, a handy tool to have in your kit!
  • Tools-Don't forget your binding tool for when its dumping and you need to set your bindings back, there's nothing worse than wrestling with or trying to find the tuning table on the hill while all your buddies are getting first tracks!
  • Board or ski locks-simple and lightweight and effective.

Luggage- Whether it's a week with the family, or a month of sleeping in hostels or couch surfing, we have a wide range of luggage, ski bags and snowboard bags for every kind of trip.

GOPRO HERO4 SILVER ADVENTURE CameraGoPro- If it's not on camera, it didn't happen! We've got a great range of GoPro cameras, mounts and collapsible poles to capture all those face shots and backflips off the biggest booter in the park.


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Ski review - Dynastar Powertrak 89 / Glory 89 Review - 30/06/2016

DYNASTAR Glory 79 ski + Look bindingDynastar Powertrak 89 / Glory 89 Review.We have just spent a week in Whistler/Blackcomb visiting our Ski Instructor daughter, Madeleine. Dynastar was kind enough to supply us with next year's Dynastar Powertrak 89, Glory 89 and Glory 84. These are all Hybrid design skis with what Dynastar calls a progressive five point sidecut similar to the Dynastar Cham, Rossignol Soul and K2 Pinnacle series. I have skied the Powertrak 84 previously for a few runs at a ski test and found it a lot of fun and able to be serious when required.

The 89 proved to be a fantastic all mountain, all terrain ski, easy to initiate but with very secure edge hold through the turn at all but the highest speeds, easy release with lots of energy, handles long and short turns and has sensational float in powder. A huge sweet spot with traditional camber, firm tail and tip rocker make this the closest ski I have found to being the one ski quiver. Kellie found the ladies version equally as versatile and easy in all terrain. For Australian skiing I think I would go for the Powertrak 84, just a little better for on piste skiing.

The Powertrak 89's elongated Hybrid tip can be skied slightly longer which helps when going faster but still retains the short ski feel. It is lively and playful, easy to pivot.

The Powertrak has a Wood Sandwich construction with vertical sidewalls and titanal layers for smoothness.

Recommended for advanced to expert skiers wanting all mountain performance.


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Backcountry Checklist - 30/06/2016

Backcountry Checklist

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  1. Backpack/Airbag.
  2. Beacon.
  3. Shovel - Compact to fit in your pack.
  4. Probe - Dedicated Avalanche Probe.
  5. Skins.
  6. Navigation equipment - Map & compass, GPS, altimeter.
  7. Down or synthetic jacket for insulation.
  8. Waterproof shell.
  9. Eye protection - Sunglassesb & Goggles.
  10. Warm hat.
  11. Food
  12. Water.
  13. Extra gloves - Thinner and thicker.
  14. Extra mid layers.
  15. Extra base layers.
  16. Emergency gear - First aid kit, repair kit, bivy sack, headlamp.
  17. Cell phone, radio or satellite phone.

Also, don't forget extra batteries for your beacon, GPS, and headlamp, and make sure you have the right size(s). If you need them, you'll also be glad you brought ski crampons and toilet paper.

We recommend taking an avalanche safety course to familiarize you further with all your backcountry gear and practicing avalanche rescue techniques regularly with your riding partners.


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